Terry McAuliffe

Three Potential Democratic Presidential Contenders In 2020 From Virginia: Terry McAuliffe, Tim Kaine, Mark Warner

As the 2020 Presidential campaign begins, there are three potential candidates who come from Virginia, which has become a very “Blue” state.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe has hinted he plans to run. He is probably the most controversial of the three Virginians, having been the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the first George W. Bush term, as well as Chair of the Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign for President, and co-chairman of the reelection campaign of President Bill Clinton in 1996. He is certainly the most hard nosed politician of the three Virginians.

Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate, may run, but does not seem drawn to the idea of running at this point. Many observers feel that Kaine did not help Hillary Clinton, and was a lackluster campaigner. Also, Kaine is seen as moderate in a party moving to the left rapidly.

Senator Mark Warner, also seen as a moderate, and about the wealthiest member of Congress, has long been thought of as a potential candidate, and he has been very active in pursuing the Russian Collusion investigation in the Senate, as the ranking member or Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Interesting point is that all three Virginians have been Governors of their state, and all three have been seen as successes in that position, leading to Kaine and Warner being elected to the Senate.

But none of these three seem at this point, even if they announce, to be likely to win the Democratic nomination.

The one who might have the best chance is Warner, but although he is a more dynamic person than Kaine, it still seems unlikely that he will get very far in the various primaries and caucuses in 2020.

But of course no one can be sure what will happen in any Presidential campaign, so it will be interesting to see if any of these three Virginia politicians move forward toward the nomination in 2020.

Florida’s Discriminatory 150 Year Old Law Denying Voting Rights To Felons Who Have Paid Their Debt To Society Finally Being Challenged

About 1.4 million Floridians are denied the right to vote, because of past criminal records, but have paid their debt to society.

This discriminatory law has been in place since 1868, as part of a racist policy during Reconstruction, designed against African Americans, and Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Florida Cabinet Officers have made it nearly impossible for any of this group to regain their voting rights, even a decade or more after having met all legal requirements to be able to have their voting rights restored.

Now there is a constitutional amendment question that will be on the Florida ballot in November, requiring 60 percent or more of those voting to support the end of this discrimination, only found also in three other states—Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia—although the latter has had two Democratic Governors–Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam–who have worked on restoring rights by executive action.

Florida, as the third largest state, is an outlier on the issue, and the proposed constitutional amendment, a move done by former felons working together, seems to have a good chance of success, and particularly with the apparent popularity of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, favored to win over Republican Ron DeSantis.

It is important to understand that anyone who has committed and been convicted of murder or rape would NOT get back their voting rights, but many felons have non violent convictions, and this is designed to restore their voting rights.

It is also ironic that about two thirds of the people who would regain their voting rights are whites, not African Americans, overcoming the stereotype that only African Americans in the past and in the present commit felonies that are non violent.

The Democratic Presidential Rumor Mill Grows From 18 To 25! But Probably 10 “Serious” Possibilities!

Nine days ago, this blogger published an article, discussing 18 potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020.

My article was a bit ahead of the media in bringing up the issue, but now the rumor mill has come up with 7 more potential Democratic candidates, making for a total, in theory, of 25!

This is the silly season, right after the First Hundred Days of Donald Trump, and having a list this lengthy does seem a bit ridiculous.

However, for the record, the other 7 names being bandied about are:

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley from 2007 to 2015 and Baltimore Mayor before that from 1999-2007, age 57 in 2020, who this blogger should NOT have left off the original list. O’Malley was once thought of as the “new generation” of leadership, but could not compete against Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the rumors that Joe Biden would run. Certainly, he belonged on the original list of 18, making it 19, and has a likely better chance in theory than some on that list.

Entrepreneur, businessman, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Mark Cuban, age 62 in 2020, who is very personable and appealing, and could be the “outsider”, equivalent of the Democrats’ Donald Trump, but personally, this blogger is not keen about outside businessmen with no government experience, and Donald Trump just adds to that feeling, that it is not a great idea.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, age 63 in 2020, who leaves office at the end of this year, but was formerly Democratic National Chairman from 2001-2005; Bill Clinton co chair in the 1996 Presidential campaign; and Hillary Clinton chair in the 2008 Presidential campaign, has the disadvantage of being connected to the Clintons, and has an image of being a bit sleazy and crooked throughout his political career, so would not seem a likely choice to get very far in the 2020 Presidential race. If anything, Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner seem more likely candidates from Virginia.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, age 60 in 2020, whose sister Mary was a long time US Senator from Louisiana fromJimmy 1997 to 2015, and whose father, Moon Landrieu, was Mayor of the city from 1970-1978, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary under Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981, has become recently controversial with his decision to remove Confederate monuments in the city, including those of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Being a moderate Southern Democrat might make some think of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, but it would seem highly unlikely that he would have much of a shot at the nomination for President.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who would be 49 in 2020, and who is Jewish and also of Mexican heritage as well, and mayor of the second largest city in America in the largest state in America, might possibly be a more serious nominee on paper. Garcetti has long experience in city government, being a member of the LA City Council, and then its President, for nearly a total of 12 years on the Council, and Mayor since 2013. Being a person of urban and multiple ethnic and religious Los Angeles, the most diverse city possible in America, might just be a positive in the long run, and this is a person to watch, in the view of this blogger.

We also have two Massachusetts members of the House of Representatives, Seth Moulton, who would be 42 in 2020; and President John F. Kennedy’s grand nephew, Robert F. Kennedy’s grandson, and former Congressman Joe Kennedy II’s son, Joe Kennedy III, who would be only 40. Moulton has served since 2015 in the House, and Kennedy since 2013, and both have made names for themselves with their liberal views, and both are seen as ambitious rivals, but a bit young to be thinking of running, or be considered at all for the Presidency. Also, only James A. Garfield in 1880 went directly from the House to the Presidency, and then he was tragically killed within months. To believe a House member would be elected is highly unlikely.

In the view of this blogger, one could add O’Malley and Garcetti to the shorter list with Chris Murphy, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, Mark Warner, Sherrod Brown, and Elizabeth Warren as the most legitimate candidates.

So I am saying a total of 10 serious candidates is likely, which is certainly long enough—6 US Senators, 3 Governors (assuming Newsom is elected California Governor), and 1 Mayor, LA Mayor Garcetti. The list also includes 2 women, 1 African American, and 1 Jewish and Mexican combination (Garcetti). This is a pretty representative list.

Any commentary by my readers on this and the April 25 article is welcome!

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine A Great Choice For Vice President, And Possible Succession If Need Arises!

Hillary Clinton has made a great choice for Vice President, in selecting Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her partner to run the executive branch for the next four to eight years.

Tim Kaine comes from a crucial swing state, and would be the third Virginia leader to be Vice President, after Thomas Jefferson and John Tyler, who both became President. He is also the first Virginian to be on the Presidential election ballot, since Woodrow Wilson in 1912 and 1916, not a native Virginian, however, as Governor of New Jersey.

Kaine would be the second Catholic Vice President after Joe Biden, with John F. Kennedy the only Catholic President.

Kaine is a steady, stable, pleasant, well liked political leader who has proved by his experience and interaction with other government leaders that he is well qualified to be President, if the emergency arises. He is also, like Joe Biden, well liked personally by Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives who have dealt with him.

Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are very comfortable together, and Kaine has a tolerant and mild temperament that engenders confidence.

Kaine has served as Richmond Mayor, Lieutenant Governor, Governor, Senator, and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and his resume is very diverse and broad.

Kaine has served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee, crucial committees and experiences in an age of terrorism.

Kaine has the great advantage that he speaks fluent Spanish, a big plus for the Latino community, which is now one out of every six Americans.

If Kaine is elected, his replacement is appointed by Virginia’s Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, which would not be true had Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, or New Jersey Senator Cory Booker been selected.

Kaine was already on the short list for Vice President with Barack Obama in 2008, a sign that he is well regarded in Democratic circles.

Kaine went to the University of Missouri, Columbia as an undergraduate, and to Harvard Law School, so has excellent academic credentials.

Kaine’s Catholicism and Spanish language ability will help him in states including North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada, and his working class roots will help in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Tim Kaine can be criticized on the issue of free trade, and on supporting the Iran deal, but it will not have that much of an effect on the election, as this blogger sees it. He is certainly not “perfect”, but then no one is.

This blogger was correct when he said that Kaine was the front runner for Vice President, and that the history of the Democratic Party nominees for President choosing a US Senator for Vice President would be continued, all but 1972 and 1984.

This nomination also shows once again that Southerners are favored for Vice President now 9 times since 1944 onward in the Democratic Party, even though Tim Kaine is very different than most earlier Southern nominees for Vice President, much more progressive. Also, Southerners have been on the Presidential ticket at either end of the Democratic ballot in all elections since 1944, except 1968, 1972, 1984, 2008, and 2012, a total of 14 out of 19 times.

Tim Kaine will be an asset to Hillary Clinton, both during the campaign, and as an active Vice President in the mold of Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and Joe Biden!

The Complete Reversal Of American Politics: Republicans In The South, Democrats In Large Populated Northeastern, Midwestern And Western States!

The defeat of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu on Saturday marks the complete reversal of American politics from the years 1877 to the present.

After the Reconstruction of the South ended, with Union Army troops leaving, twelve years after the Civil War, the South became an area totally dominated by Democrats, resentful of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War defeat, and the passage of Amendments 13, 14, and 15, ending slavery, making blacks citizens, and giving the men the right to vote.

The South went into massive resistance, creating Jim Crow segregation to replace slavery, and until the election of Herbert Hoover in 1928 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, it was always a solid Democratic South with no black voting, due to discriminatory state laws that were ignored by generations of the federal government. Hoover won much of the South due to his Catholic opponent, Alfred E. Smith, in 1928, and Eisenhower won over Adlai Stevenson twice in the 1950s due to his personal popularity and World War II D Day reputation.

But only when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, starting in the 1950s, and reaching its peak with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under Lyndon B. Johnson, did we see the beginning of a mass exodus of office holders and ordinary white population, to the Republican Party, starting with Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina in 1964, switching parties to back Republican Senator Barry Goldwater against President Lyndon B. Johnson.

As the Democrats started to lose power in the South, the nomination of Southern governors Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and the rise of “New South” Governors like them and others in the Democratic Party, slowed up the switch to the GOP.

But the election of Barack Obama, considered anathema in the South, has now led to the entire wiping out of Southern Democrats in Congress, except for black and Jewish members of the House in districts gerrymandered that give the Republicans more total Congressional and state legislative seats in the South. Only a few other white non jewish members of the House remain, and they are endangered in the political climate of the South in 2014.

Only Virginia has both its Senators and Governor (Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Terry McAuliffe) as Democrats, and only Florida has one other Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson at this point, as we enter 2015.

And both Virginia and Florida have Republican dominated legislatures, as well as the other states that made up the Confederate States of America.

And, of course, Florida includes the heavily Northern South Florida, and Virginia has the heavily Northern North Virginia, influenced by being part of the DC suburbs, and otherwise, these three Senators and one Governor would not be in public office.

So the complete reversal of a century and a half ago has occurred, and is unlikely to be changed for a generation or more, at the least.

This means that the South will remain as it is now for a generation or more, and that the issue of race nearly a century and a half ago, again stands out as the key difference that separates that section from the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, the heavily populated areas of the nation in the Northeast, Midwest and West are more Democratic than ever, and are unlikely to change either over time, creating political deadlock long term over the future, stifling change and creating constant political conflict and deadlock!

Virginia The Only “Blue” State In The Old South In 2015, In Regards To Governorship And Senators!

Who would ever have thought that Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America a century and a half ago, and the home of the Harry Byrd Dynasty for so long, resisting civil rights advancements, would end up the only state of the “Old South” to have a Democratic Governor, and two Democratic Senators going into 2015?

Terry McAuliffe, Mark Warner, and Tim Kaine are the only ones from the Democratic Party to be in office, although the state Congressional delegation is actually 8 Republicans and 3 Democrats.

Only Steve Beshear in border state Kentucky is a Democratic Governor, but he is term limited and leaves at the end of 2015.

Only Bill Nelson in Florida is a Democratic Senator, other than the Virginians mentioned above, although Mary Landrieu in Louisiana has not yet lost her Senate seat, although seen as likely to lose it this coming weekend.

This historic transition from the Democratic to Republican Party in the Old South is now as complete as it has ever been!

Republican Governors With Presidential Ambitions Falling Like Flies In Political Scandals!

So now it is THREE Republican Governors who have had Presidential ambitions, who are falling like flies in political scandals!

First, it was former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who now faces trial and the likelihood of prison for financial irregularities.

Then it was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is enmeshed in a number of scandals about his use of funds, and his payback to those who oppose him, including the blockage in Fort Lee, New Jersey of the George Washington Bridge.

And now it is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who had a recall campaign in 2012, and used outside groups to raise money, in unison with his own staff, an illegal action that could lead to criminal charges!

So three Governors with overriding ambition, and three arrogant, nasty, abusive Governors in their dealings with the news media, critics, and the general public, and all having a sense of entitlement!

But the more cocky and self serving they are, the more dramatic the fall!

Do not be surprised if all three Governors end up in prison, a place they richly deserve, and the likelihood of the states of New Jersey and Wisconsin is an overthrow of the Republicans in the Governorship, just as happened in Virginia with the election of Terry McAuliffe in November 2013!

Virginia Turning Blue: Great Sign For Democratic Party Future!

Virginia, the home of more Presidents than any other state, has been seen as a bellwether state, as it holds its state elections in the year after the Presidential election.

For the first time since 1969, Virginia now has a Democratic Governor, Terry McAuliffe, along with a Democratic Lieutenant Governor, a Democratic Attorney General (although a recount is going on as the victory was razor thin), and two Democratic Senators (Mark Warner and Tim Kaine).

Assuming the recount for Attorney General keeps the Democrat as the winner, it is a sign that the right wing Republican Party in Virginia has lost its bearings, and that the state of Virginia, while still officially seen as purple, is really becoming a Democratic state, largely due to the growing influence of federal government workers, a large portion of the population in the Northern Virginia counties.

It is also seen as a great moment for Hillary Clinton, who is closely associated with new Governor Terry McAuliffe, a prodigious fund raiser for her husband, Bill Clinton, when he was in office.

With Virginia in the Democratic camp, the future of the party is in good shape for Presidential races (with Barack Obama winning the state twice), and Virginia’s trend may soon be seen in Georgia and Texas.

Virginia Unlikely To See Democratic Agenda Accomplished With Heavily Republican Legislature, And Florida Could Have Same Scenario A Year From Now!

It is great news for Democrats that Terry McAuliffe has been elected Governor of Virginia over right wing extremist Ken Cuccinelli, but sadly, with the legislature being heavily Republican, the prediction is that little of the new Governor’s agenda for reform is likely to be adopted.

And after the election for Governor in Florida in 2014, even if former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, turned Independent in 2010 for the Senate race, and now Democratic for the gubernatorial race, succeeds in defeating highly unpopular Governor Rick Scott, the GOP hold on the legislature is still likely to be very powerful, and prevent Crist from accomplishing much of what his agenda might be.

So two key states, and possibly more, with decisions of voters to split power, will be just as paralyzed in the ability to have progress, and be as stymied to a great extent, as in Washington, DC, with a Republican House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate.

The argument that divided government is better government has been shown over and over again to be totally lacking in validity, as all it produces most of the time is stalemate and gridlock!

Tea Party On The Defensive, And The Civil War In The Republican Party Begins!

The results of the off year election yesterday in New Jersey and Virginia demonstrate a defeat for the Tea Party Movement, and the beginning of the civil war in the Republican Party for its soul!

Chris Christie became the front runner for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2016, as a result of his smashing victory over Barbara Buono, the Democratic nominee, for Governor. Christie attracted Democrats, Independents, and Latinos, something no Tea Party advocate could accomplish, and he has become, clearly, the “establishment” choice for now in the Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who appealed to the Tea Party Movement, and came out with outrageous stands on interference with sexual privacy, abortion, and global warming, and was also involved in a financial scandal that also undermined Governor Bob McDonnell, lost to Terry McAuliffe, backed by Bill and Hillary Clinton, who he had raised money for in the 1990s. Cuccinelli’s “Puritan” and anti science views caused women, in particular, to vote against him, making clear that if the GOP continues its “war on women” and their rights, they will be slaughtered in Congressional races in 2014 and the Presidential race in 2016.

Before anyone gets too excited about Christie, though, one must realize that the New Jersey Governor is a definite conservative on the issues–health care, education, labor unions, abortion—and he gained most of his support from his reaction to Superstorm Sandy a year ago, including his willingness to work with President Obama directly.

That will be his Achilles heel, however, in GOP primaries and caucuses, as he competes against right wingers such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, and there is no guarantee that Christie will survive bruising, bloody primary and caucus fights.

But even if, somehow, he does make it through to the nomination, do not forget that Chris Christie has a short fuse; is highly temperamental when he does not like what one is saying, or opposes him; is still what this author said in the past (a bully); a man who could cause war with his bluntness, as he lacks all diplomacy and tact; and there are hints of corruption and inappropriate actions in his past record, and even some supposed connections to the Mafia.

One can be sure that ALL leads will be followed, and that Christie, who caused “red flags’ for Mitt Romney, making the 2012 GOP nominee pass Christie by for Vice President, will be fully vetted, and it could destroy any hopes he has for the Presidency.

To believe that Chris Christie will be the next President still means one has to be delusional. By comparison, he might be seen as “better” than Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Ryan and others, but ONLY by comparison, nothing more than that!